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Integration of 802.11 and third-generation wireless data networks

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6 Author(s)
Buddhikot, M. ; Lucent Technol. Bell Labs, Holmdel, NJ, USA ; Chandranmenon, G. ; Han, S. ; Lee, Y.W.
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The third-generation (3G) wide area wireless networks and 802.11 local area wireless networks possess complementary characteristics. 3G networks promise to offer always-on, ubiquitous connectivity with relatively low data rates. 802.11 offers much higher data rates, comparable to wired networks, but can cover only smaller areas, suitable for hot-spot applications in hotels and airports. The performance and flexibility of wireless data services would be dramatically improved if users could seamlessly roam across the two networks. In this paper, we address the problem of integration of these two classes of networks to offer such seamless connectivity. Specifically, we describe two possible integration approaches - namely tight integration and loose integration and advocate the latter as the preferred approach. Our realization of the loose integration approach consists of two components: a new network element called IOTA gateway deployed in 802.11 networks, and a new client software. The IOTA gateway is composed of several software modules, and with cooperation from the client software offers integrated 802.11/3G wireless data services that support seamless intertechnology mobility, Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees and multiprovider roaming agreements. We describe the design and implementation of the IOTA gateway and the client software in detail and present experimental performance results that validate our architectural approach.

Published in:

INFOCOM 2003. Twenty-Second Annual Joint Conference of the IEEE Computer and Communications. IEEE Societies  (Volume:1 )

Date of Conference:

30 March-3 April 2003